Peer support takes place when people with lived experience of mental distress support each other towards better wellbeing, as people of equal value and on a reciprocal basis, using their own lived experience as a tool of support. The importance of peer support at Together has been developed and become increasingly recognised since 2010. This work was led by the Service User Involvement Directorate in the first instance and is now strongly supported across departments and delivered within a range of operational services
There has been a rapid increase in the employment of Peer Support Co-ordinators to develop, co-ordinate and manage the provision of peer support within the past twelve months. This includes supporting teams of Peer Supporters, who are volunteers with lived experience of mental distress, to draw upon their lived experience to support people who use our services. This directly supports our strategic goal to ensure that peer support is available to service users across all our services by 2018-19. By March 2016 an average of 218 service users were receiving peer support per month across 26 Together services.